University of the Pacific

Course Title

PDSI 9934 – Overcoming Difficult Challenges

Earn from 1-2 graduate credits.

  • 1 credit $150 per course, 2 credits with completion of Place Based Education Indepenedent Study Day, $275
  • Can’t make the live Saturday date?  No worries, the course will be offered “On Demand” after each session.  No Stress.
  • For 34 years, we have been in the trenches with teachers.  We care about you.

Course Information

Date: Postponed – check back for new date
Location: Online
Instructor: Mark Speckman

“Overcoming Difficult Challenges”

Coach Mark SpeckmanSummer Institutes - Mark Speckmen

World Renowned Motivational Speaker


  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Introductions and Setting Expectations –  Scott Ricardo
  • 9:00 – 10:00 am – Session I Keynote
  • 10:15 – 11:00 am – Session II Keynote
  • 11:15 – Noon – PLC Prompts
  • Noon to 1:30 pm – Working Lunch, organizing and submitting notes into your Canvas apartment
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm Session II Keynote
  • 2:45 – 3:15 pm Q & A with presenter
  • 3:15 – 3:45 pm PLC Prompts
  • 3:45 – 4:00 pm Enter conference notes into your Canvas apartment.
  • 4:00 – 6:00 pm Optional wellness and stress release activities

Additional Independent Study to complete 15 hours which = 1 graduate semester credit. TBD. Submit activities into Canvas Learning Platform.

2 credit option: Completion of the one credit requirements above and a one day Place Based Education Independent Study Day.  Journal your hours of PBE, answer the 10 questions, and submit into Canvas Learning Platform.

About Mark Speckman

Mark’s story is not about avoiding life’s twists and turns or hiding from our weaknesses, but about conditioning one’s self to believe in the power of the human spirit and achieve our highest goals.

Mark Speckman is so much more than a football coach. He is a teacher, a motivational speaker, and a man who has learned to turn the adversity that life has dealt him into a positive affirmation. His life speaks volumes about never giving up, always doing the very best you can regardless of the circumstances, and how you can use your difficult (some would call it impossible situation) to help others. Mark Speckman was born without hands, a situation which might ultimately destroy the strongest of us. Mark has taken his physical liability and turned it into a positive. He has touched many thousands with his uplifting story.

He has been listed in the prestigious Who’s Who among American High School Teachers. Mark was also selected a Mentor teacher in the state of California. Mark has been featured by numerous national media outlets (including ESPN and USA Today) and has established himself as one of the most in-demand motivational speakers in the country.

Mark learned early on that he couldn’t escape his disability. He had to face his challenges and “figure life out” without hands. In his mid-20’s Mark made a pact with God to use his disability to create a positive impact in others lives. He made a promise to share his life story with anyone who inquired. Since then, While Mark’s physical disability is evident, his message is about helping people recognize and overcome the “disabilities” in their own life. At the end of the day all of us are limited by disabilities that keep us from realizing our potential. Whether it is poor communication skills, fear of failure or lack of organization, we all have weaknesses in our lives that require extra effort or creativity on our part to achieve success. Mark’s story is not about avoiding life’s twists and turns or hiding from our weaknesses, but about conditioning one’s self to believe in the power of the human spirit and achieve our highest goals.

Earn Credit Hours through the University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific

Summer Institutes partners with the Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE) at the University of the Pacific to offer professional development programming where students can earn graduate-level professional development units (PDUs) for successful completion of applicable coursework. Learn more

Course Fees & Registration

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